Look ahead to Rugby Park matchAuthor: J Barber Date: Wednesday, 16th Oct 2002
A great few days for Dunfermline without even kicking a ball! Stevie Crawford is the toast of Scotland after two caps, two goals and two great performances. Andrius Skerla has been restored to defensive duties for Lithuania and the injury list is getting shorter!
With no game last weekend, Dunfermline have been sitting in third place for a fortnight now and will be looking to stay there when the league games start up again.
All things are looking rosy for the Pars just now and a good result away to Killie would keep the good times rolling going into the crunch cup game against Falkirk next week.
On the injury front, Gary Dempsey seems to have made a miraculous recovery from the "challenge" made on him in the Partick game. He could even be available for the Killie game, though that might come just too soon for him. He is not ruling himself out of that one though, so his progress will be getting watched closely by the day.
Andre Karnebeek is now back in full training and cannot be far from a top team comeback. Jimmy Calderwood is likely to face the type of headache managers claim to love, by having options available all over the park.
Stevie Hampshire is the one concern at present, with the injury received up at Aberdeen being more serious than first thought. He could be a few weeks away from seeing any action at all.
The game against Killie sees Dunfermline come up against old foe Jim Jeffries once again. A good start to the season has been replaced by a slip down the table and plenty of points dropped. Jovial Jim will be looking for a return to winning ways against the in form Pars this weekend.
Plenty of old faces in the Killie line up, literally, most of whom seemed to be with Hearts a few years ago. Watch out for a special mention for current Killie keeper Gordon Marshall in next weeks Falkirk preview.......
Dunfermline`s recent record at Rugby Park is not too clever. We have never won there in the Premier league, another record there to be broken in the current climate of doing just that. The last win there was in the First Division back in season 1992/93 when both clubs were fighting it out to get into the Premier.
Dunfermline were in a self induced lull at the time. The "replacement" of Jim Leishman with the enigmatic Ian Munro had not worked and fans were staying away. Munro was belatedly releived of his duties and Jocky Scott replaced him.
The pressure was on Scott to return the club to the Premier at the first time of asking.....
On the 26th Decemeber 1992, Dunfermline lined up with:
Lindsay Hamilton, Rab Shannon, Eddie Cunnington, Norrie McCathie, Davie Moyes, Neale Cooper, Hamish French, Scott Leitch, Craig Robertson, Billy Davies and Paul Chalmers. Subs used was Andy Williamson.
A crowd of just 5,762 saw the Christmas encounter serve up a cracker of a game (apologies) in which Hamish French scored twice and Craig Robertson once to take both points back to East End.
Further eratic league form towards the end of the season saw the goals dry up, with only French keeping on form in front of goal. Results swung both ways and Dunfermline ended up challenging Kilmarnock for the runners up spot behind the Wee Team, who ran away with the title under Jimmy Nicholl.
In the end, disastrous home defeats to both Cowdenbeath and Morton sealed 3rd place for the Pars and pretty much settled Scott`s fate. He was replaced by Bert Paton during the summer and a new era was given its chance at the club.
This time round, Dunfermline is a much happier place to be! Craig Brewster will likely return up front with the man of the moment up front on Saturday. Crawford will no doubt be a marked man this week due his rich vein of form for club AND country now.
With crucial back to back home games coming up next week against Falkirk and Celtic, this trip could provide the perfect springboard for Dunfermline. Their superb form going into this game must give the players confidence of coming away with a good result.
Who would bet against Dunfermline in the current climate, with Crawford being first scorer?!
MON THE PARS!